📩 06/09/2021 15:34
Audi introduced the concept model Audi grandsphere, which it will exhibit at IAA 2021. The 5,35m-long grandsphere opens up new dimensions of travel freedom with its fourth-level autonomous driving capabilities: in this mode, the interior transforms into a vast experience space without the steering wheel, pedals or screens. Thus, maximum space is created for the driver and passenger to access all the functions of the digital ecosystem in which the Audi grandsphere is integrated.
Audi introduced the Audi grandsphere, the second of three 'Sphere-Sphere' concept models, which it will exhibit at IAA 2021. Reflecting the technologies and design features that Audi will use in its future models, the Audi grandsphere reveals the brand's claim to what it can offer in technological transformation and holistic mobility.
Introducing the skysphere, which can transform into an autonomous sports car with a variable wheelbase, in August, Audi aims to present its third model in 2022 after its second concept, the Audi grandsphere: Audi urbansphere…
This new concept of Audi, where the steering wheel and pedals are hidden, transforms the traditional driver-oriented cockpit and passenger compartments into a spacious saloon and offers new areas of freedom for all passengers. Audi grandsphere not only frees the driver from driving duties, but also allows everyone in the cabin to experience this freedom with different experiences; It offers a space with a wide variety of options for communication, rest or work. The Audi grandsphere is transforming from an automobile into an "experience device".
With Audi integrating other digital services as well as its own services, the possibilities are almost endless: from planning the route with the most beautiful scenery to detailing the restaurant or accommodation options on the route. The vehicle also takes on daily tasks as well as driving. Audi grandsphere receives information about available destinations on the route and, if necessary, performs tasks such as parking and charging there.
Successfully integrating music and video providers, as before in infotainment technologies, Audi aims to offer personalized options such as concerts, cultural events and sports organizations in the future in its new concept model.
Three premium travel options for the future
Audi skysphere, Audi grandsphere and Audi urbansphere, four halkalı three concept cars used by the brand to showcase its progressive premium vision. In the process, Audi creates a vehicle experience that goes far beyond just spending time in a car to get from point A to point B. The interiors of these concept cars have a new design that treats the passenger compartment as the center of the vehicle and does not make the passenger experience dependent on the requirements of technology. The new design is evident in the variable layout of the interior, the concealment of the controls and the full expansion of the cabin, linking them to the new service offerings.
Inside-out design gains importance
The term “sphere-sphere” in the names of the Audi skysphere, grandsphere and urbansphere concepts is a design reference: the most important element is always the interior. Features such as driving systems and handling are now replaced by design features in this new generation of cars. The starting point of its design is the interior, that is, the sphere of experience that passengers experience while traveling. Needs and desires shape the space, its architecture and its functions. After the interior, the equipment, contours and proportions are designed that turn the car into a complete work of art with its technological features.
Space, form, function
In the Audi grandsphere, the doors are reversed; Column B does not exist. The entire world of the interior opens as you get into the vehicle. Opening its doors to its passengers, the Audi grandsphere welcomes them with its own screen displays and ambient light. It automatically detects the driver and front passenger and automatically adjusts a number of personal comfort features such as climate controls and seat positions. At the same time, the infotainment system accesses and maintains passengers' most recently used services. For example, in the passenger compartment, a video that a passenger watches on their tablet before getting in is automatically played on the 'screen surface' in the Audi grandsphere. On the driver's side, the news read by the passenger before boarding is automatically received and displayed by the 'projection surface'.
In the interior, the lines on the decorative surfaces and the functional elements are strikingly positioned horizontally. The absence of the steering wheel, pedals and traditional instrument cluster creates the feeling of spacious interior.
Large glass surfaces, large windshield and transparent roof also accentuate this feeling. The same applies to the special geometry of the side windows. The top half of the side windows are clearly angled and the widest part is positioned just above eye level, a feature that Audi first used on the AI:CON concept car and showed off for the first time in 2017, now moving into series production.
The change in comfort is radical: the rear seat in a traditional sedan now moves to the front row. Because it is no longer necessary to be bound by the driving function and controls. Also, in level 4 driving, with the steering wheel and pedals hidden, the front area of the cabin becomes a large, empty space that offers maximum mobility.
In the Audi grandsphere, which is a 2+2 seater, the interior looks much more spacious when the two separate front seats are pushed all the way back. For the two in the back, a bench with armrests that wraps around the sides is integrated.
The seating surfaces and backs of the two front seats with integrated belts are designed with different visuals. The backrests have inconspicuous bends to provide support when cornering. The possible seat positions are optimized for every use: the upright position allows the driver to drive in the most ergonomic position, except for Level 4 autonomous use; The 40 degree inclined position allows passengers to relax and easily enjoy the infotainment system; Finally, the 60 degree position allows for a perfect resting position. The headrest can be tilted forward 15 degrees. There is a built-in cooler between the front seats.
No connection, no screen
Instruments and other displays disappear when autonomous driving is enabled in the Audi grandsphere. Instead, areas made of high-quality materials appear. No leather is used in the Audi grandsphere, where side trims, seat covers and upholstery are all made of sustainable and recycled wood, wool, synthetic textiles and metal.
When the car comes to life at the touch of a finger, the interior becomes different: depending on the driving situation, screens appear, either scattered throughout the interior or divided into sections for the driver and front seat passenger. All the information needed while traveling is displayed on the screens in high resolution and fully readable.
Alternatively, the projection surfaces can be used as CinemaScope screens for infotainment content or video conferencing screens in auto-drive mode. In addition, a sensor bar is integrated under the projection surfaces to enable fast switching between content for music or navigation when desired. In this area, which shows all the functions and applications active in the vehicle, icons for different menus are flashing.
In the Audi grandsphere, a special and highly innovative control element is also located next to the door opening in the interior trim: MMI contactless response. While the driver is active and controlling the vehicle, this control element can tactilely select various function menus.
The driver does not have to give up all these comfort elements if he reclines his seat during level 4 driving. This is where the combination of eye tracking and motion control comes into play. A sensor directed to the eye detects the line of sight as soon as the control unit is activated and it is enough to make similar hand movements without touching anything, as if he were controlling it with his hand.
Control panels are even integrated into the armrests in the doors. Thus, thanks to optical displays, passengers are always offered invisible touchpads. At the same time, there are VR glasses on the armrests on the left and right doors, which can be used with infotainment options.
Dynamic monolith exterior design
5,35 m long, 2 m wide and 1,39 m high, the Audi grandsphere is among the luxury sedan class cars with these dimensions. With a wheelbase of 3,19 m, it even outshines the Long version of the current Audi A8. Regardless, the Audi grandsphere looks, at first glance, more like a four-door GT than a traditional sedan.
Audi meets the hallmark requirements of electric cars in the grandsphere at the front: a short overhang, a flat hood and a windshield that protrudes forward to provide ample interior space. In contrast, unlike many electric cars, it does not look futuristic at all, but rather emphasizes traditional details. The long engine compartment-like line, which is one of the most distinctive features of a GT, is drawn to the sides of the chassis at the top of the hood. This line runs across the cabin and continues at the same height along the rear fender.
A second horizontal line emanating from the lower edge of the hood runs under the side windows and around the entire cabin. This line divides the door surfaces into horizontally oriented shoulders and below them into convex rocker panel areas. The mudguards, as an Audi classic, have a soft yet striking appearance. The slender rear behind the large C-pillar points to its traditional aerodynamic design, while the dynamically curved arc of the roofline reveals the large sphere as part of the Audi Sportback tradition.
The 23-inch wheels of the Audi grandsphere concept quote an icon from the 1990s, the Audi Avus. At the same time, the six-twin-spoke wheels remind of motorsport and Bauhaus tradition with their lightweight construction and stability.
Visible technology – light
At the front of the vehicle is the innovative interpretation of the Singleframe in the form of a flat hexagon, which defines the Audi's appearance. The interior surfaces behind a transparent coating are illuminated from above while driving, providing a three-dimensional visual effect.
The headlight units at the top of the singleframe look narrow, like focused eyes. The lighting units refer to the brand logo of the four rings: a new and seamless digital light signature has emerged, designed like a pupil, similar to the shape formed by the intersection of the two rings. Similar graphics appear on backlight units as well.
Propulsion and charging
Audi grandsphere's technology is based on the platform known as Premium Platform Electric, or PPD, and is designed for all-electric propulsion systems. At the core of the PPD at Grandspher is a battery built between the axles, providing around 120 kWh of energy.
This layout also results in successful basic proportions in design, a long interior space and therefore ample legroom in both rows of seats. In addition, the absence of gearbox and shaft tunnel, as in electric cars, increases spatial comfort.
Audi grandsphere is not giving up on the brand's trademark quattro drive system. Featuring separate electric motors mounted on the front and rear axles, this concept car uses electronic coordination to provide all-wheel drive and strike a balance between driving dynamics and energy efficiency. The two electric motors of the Audi grandsphere concept provide a total power of 530 kW and a torque of 960 Newton meters.
Fast charging, high range
At the heart of the propulsion system is 800-volt charging technology. This technology, which was previously used in the Audi e-tron GT, enables the battery to be charged up to 270 kW in a very short time at fast charging stations.
It takes 300 minutes to charge the Audi grandsphere, which charges in almost the same time as it takes to refuel a car with a conventional engine, to reach a range of more than 10 kilometers. In less than 25 minutes, a 120 kWh battery can charge from 5 percent to 80 percent.
The Audi grandsphere reaches a range of more than 750 kilometers, depending on the selected drive system and power output.
In terms of dynamic qualities, the Audi grandsphere really outperforms its internal combustion engine rivals: it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just over 4 seconds.